Posted on March 01 2023
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This year, the US has granted thirty-six percent more visas to Indians to date compared to the pre-pandemic era. This is due to the "number one priority" accord to cut the wait time short by taking many steps like remote processing of applications from India.
Specifically for first-time visitors, the longest wait time has been reduced to 580 days from more than 1000 days. To achieve this, the country has taken several measures, such as waiving the interview for repeat visitors, appointing more staff in the consular operations in Indian missions, and introducing "Super Saturdays," where the staff processes visas all day.
The US State Department will start to renew H-1B and L-1 visas and remove the requirement that mandates the applicants to get a renewal stamp abroad.
"It is the number one priority that we're facing right now, and we are absolutely committed to getting us out of the situation where people -- anyone in India -- seeking a visa appointment or a visa would have to wait a lengthy time at all. That's certainly not our ideal."
The main reason behind the long wait time is that the consular operation was closed for over a year due to the pandemic. The US operations were impacted worldwide, but the impact in India was more prominent due to the enormous volume of visa applications from Indians for all categories.
The issue has been addressed primarily due to the interview waiver for repeat visitors. Those applications were processed remotely. Indians are now being encouraged to apply for a US visa, and over 100 US missions have processed Indian applications worldwide.
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